Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MLK Day and Character Traits

Hello all!

I don't know about you, but my kiddos are CRAZY right now! I have never had behavior problems with this class before and they are driving me bonkers. Hopefully this extra day off will have them coming back relaxed and ready to LISTEN and learn :)

Speaking of our wonderful day off yesterday, I took the opportunity to get my favorite activities ready to teach about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I really enjoy teaching my students about him because his message is s important!

My absolute favorite activity to do on MLK Day is one with food. (Can you say engaging?) I choose a physical characteristic of certain students in my class. This year, I chose students that were under 40 inches tall (which happened to be 4 of my kiddos).

These 4 kids got this!

Needless to say, the rest of my class's jaws were down to the floor. I heard so many "That's not fair!" and "Why are they the only ones who get that?" I look at them very confused and tell them that students who are under a certain height get the MnM's and the others do not because they are too tall. That's just the way  that it is, and I don't know why they would be upset about that.

One student shouted out (it's like I can telepathically transfer my thoughts to their brain): "That's not right. I can't change how tall I am. Why am I being left out of the fun just because I'm too tall? I can't shrink." Genius child. I think so :)

Then we can get into our discussion of how it is unfair to leave someone out when the thing that is keeping them "out," is not something they can change about themselves.

We answered the questions:
1. Why is this unfair?
2. How does it make you feel?
3. What can you change?

Finally after all of this, I read this book below.

My favorite book to read first is Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I posted about this book last January, but it is so awesome I had to post about it again! This book has such an awesome way of helping the kiddos understand what the words in Dr. Martin Luther King's dream was all about!

Since we are working on understanding character traits, (that differ from character feelings) we made an anchor chart displaying all of Dr. King's traits. I do realize that MLK is not a "character," but he worked well for the skill I am trying to teach my students! We are also really big on providing "evidence" for our thoughts, so for each trait, we thought of 1-2 pieces of evidence to support it.

Horrible picture! But you get the idea :)

Then, we discussed the importance of his words. I posted different parts of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and the students had to pick the words that meant the most to them, and how they could show what these special words mean today!

This is the paper my students filled out. You can get it on Googledocs here. These are some examples that my kiddos did!

I wish I could have talked about MLK all day! The kiddos were so interested!
Enjoy the rest of your week! Only 3 days left :)


The Frizz said...

Thank you for sharing these ideas! I am definitely going to try the candy thing next year. I also love your writing activity. We watched a part of his speech this year, but I would love to take it even further.

The Frizz

The Frizz in First Grade

butterfly lesson plans said...

Gotta give it to the kid "I can't shrink". That made me laugh. Got to try this thing with the candy and see the reaction of the students. This would be fun. Thanks for the idea!

Pin It button on image hover